Blogging Software

I have been using WordPress for years and it works but by now I would expect a mature product. Instead we still have “features” like displaying newest comments at the tops of pages unavailable. Really. I thought this was a bug because there is an option in the Dashboard/Settings/Discussion settings for newest first but it does not work. When I reported this to WordPress.com I was informed to get help from WordPress.org where I see this has been a problem for years and no solution exists except to install plugins that may or may not work depending on “theme” and editing PHP. Apparently, WP is not amenable to fixing. I tried two different plugins and could not get it straightened out. My son may look at the PHP to figure out what’s wrong. I even turned off caching to no avail. I looked around for other packages. Potentially,

  • DotClear, a package in the Debian Repository and trivial to install,
  • Geeklog, used by GROKLAW,
  • Google’s Blogger, not FLOSS, and not amenable to importing our massive data

are candidates.

I installed DotClear on Beast in a few minutes and had no problem getting comments in the proper order. It can be installed on our server and import WP content directly from the database. It would be a bit of work but it could be done.

Another issue is spam. It seems WP just loves spam. Akismet which worked well for years no longer is very effective. I may have to create accounts for worthy users to permit comments.

What say you?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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7 Responses to Blogging Software

  1. Chris Weig says:

    What say you?

    I say: that’s the beauty of FLOSS! You get people, who can’t afford real software, to depend on FLOSS, then you don’t fix important bugs. It’s how Canonical has done it with Ubuntu for years.

    Anyway, nasty thing, this “vendor lock-in”.

    Chuckle!

    Why don’t you move to Google+? Then we all have to show our REAL colours.

  2. kozmcrae says:

    some-dude wrote:

    “Please do not use Google’s Blogger. I has a bad
    habit of not working w/ghostery. i.e. ”

    Many of the common plugins reek havoc with the comment software on blogging sites. I’ve had issues with noscript and cookie monster. Rather than ask the bloggers to conform their sites to suit my particular mix of plugins it makes more sense for me to configure my browser to conform to their sites. I normally use Firefox but when I need to interact with the comment software I use Chromium which I have only installed adblock as plugin.

  3. some_dude says:

    “Google’s Blogger, not FLOSS, and not amenable to importing our massive data”
    Please do not use Google’s Blogger. I has a bad
    habit of not working w/ghostery. i.e. Comments are not viewable if you use the ghostery firefox add-on. Thanks

  4. Clarence Moon wrote, “just what do you consider as “spam”?”

    The spam we saw only a year or so ago was blatant, like the ads for Viagra tm. Now they are quite subtle. I can see that the comment is general and not about the post. The spam filter cannot. The last 100 spams have gone something like this:“Oh! What a wonderful blog. I learned so much about the subject. I will use this information and return for more.” It could be relevant and a human might leave a comment like that but it most likely is spam. Typically the user-name will be a URI to some commercial site selling something.

    I was thinking that I could issue identities to the folks who make real comments and never put them into spam automatically thereafter. Lots of posts that seem relevant and typical are getting into the spam queue. Typically about half the comments in the spam queue are actual spam and half are real meat or what passes for meat here. If a spammer emerges from the user-space, I could just delete him and accept no further posts. The process could separate the task of sorting spam from sorting spammers and make my life easier… or difficult in a new way.

  5. jon says:

    I gave up on WP a while ago. This time around, I use Pelican, a Python-based static generator, and rsync. So far, so good.

    If you want to pay the monthly fee, there are TypePad, Squarespace, etc.

  6. Clarence Moon says:

    What say you?

    It depends on what you are trying to do with this blog, Mr. Pogson. You obviously have a few things that you like to shout about and presumably started blogging in order to be able to do so. Whether or not you want to hear an opposing point of view is up to you.

    Personally, I just like to argue. My company gets a lot of income from Red Hat and SUSE server customers as well as traditional Unix and Windows users. My local site is 100% Windows now, since we moved the Linux responsibility out to the west coast, but the division bonuses include money from Linux successes. I don’t have any personal skin in the game other than what the 401K funds have in the way of MSFT or GOOG or AAPL or the like.

    It is much more satisfying to see one’s post pop onto the thread rather than just disappear. I would vote for any change that achieves that end. The DotClear example is as good as any in terms of content presentation.

    As to “spam”, just what do you consider as “spam”? There are a lot of forums that simply make comments disappear or else remove the text and replace it with a placeholder saying that the comment is deleted due to not meeting some criteria for being properly made. It might be easy enough to just do that.

  7. kozmcrae says:

    “I may have to create accounts for worthy users to permit comments.”

    How can you tell when they will be worthy? Oh, you mean the users that are worthy *all* the time. Oh well.

    Any improvement in the comment system will be welcome. No matter who gets effected, or how. Go for it Robert.

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